Update: The abandoned bus made famous in Into the Wild can now safely be viewed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks while it undergoes preservation work. The bus was moved to the university’s engineering facility last week while it's being prepared for outdoor display at the Museum of the North. That's an extensive process: All the interior and exterior graffiti will be "really systematically" documented; holes cut in the roof and floor of the bus to allow a helicopter to ferry it out of the woods will be repaired; and its many bullet holes will need to be fixed, reports the AP. The bus is expected to remain in the heated, secure space through the end of the academic year. Our original story from July 2020 follows:
It was immortalized in a book and movie—and now maybe in a museum, too. The abandoned bus made famous in Into the Wild appears headed to a museum in Fairbanks, Alaska, reports the AP. Too many people were hiking into the wilderness to find the spot where Christopher McCandless perished from starvation in 1992, prompting the state to pluck the bus out of the state's backcountry. Officials are now negotiating with the University of Alaska's Museum of the North to house it permanently.
"Of the many expressions of interest in the bus," the museum's proposal best met conditions "to ensure this historical and cultural object will be preserved in a safe location where the public could experience it fully, yet safely and respectfully, and without the specter of profiteering," Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige said in a statement. At least two people drowned trying to reach the bus in its original spot, and five Italian tourists required rescue last winter. (Read more Into the Wild stories.)